Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hudson by Janice Weaver

Henry Hudson is not a name I remember from history.  I was aware of the Hudson Bay Company's Fort Vancouver; I've toured it.  And Hudson Bay was named after Henry.  Tundra Books is teaching me history again.

Tundra always does a real nice job of picking good authors and illustrators for their books.  This hardcover picture book is for ages 8-12 and is illustrated by David Craig.  His illustrations are strong and accurately depict the voyages and troubles of Captain Hudson.

Hudson was determined to find a northwest passage to China.  That would decrease shipping route time and increase the revenue of the merchants who sold spices from the Orient.  He was the grandson of a trader, and got money from that firm to make two exploratory trips - with no luck.  When that money source ran dry, he then sailed under a Dutch flag.

Hudson was not a people person, he was a sailor first-and-foremost.  He expected his sailors to accept harsh weather, hard work, lack of food and whatever else (such as trading with the Native Americans) all in stride and to keep on towards their goal - finding a new waterway to China.  After multiple trips, his crew was growing very testy.  He struggled through the first mutiny, but when they mutinied again, they set him adrift with his son and a few companions in an old rowboat and none of the party was never seen again. 

What he had discovered was named Hudson's Bay (in Canada) and he also explored New York City (in US).

I especially like the little snippets of information added in here and there on the pages giving you more tidbits of facts that add to the basic story.

If you have a young one who needs to make a report on an historical figure, this is very good beginning with more resources listed at the back of the book.

You can find this book at your local bookstore now.  Give the gift of history to young ones.

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